It's Super Bowl time and with all the talk recently of deflating to win, it got me to thinking that yes, you can win by deflating. Of course in my context I'm speaking of your debt. Just as in football, there's not only one way to win, but doing lots of things right, time after time, you will win. The same is true for building and maintaining healthy credit. Below is my playbook for you to win your credit score game and achieve your financial goals.
Deflate debt to win - Keeping your credit balances low will help increase your credit score. It's best to keep revolving balances, like credit and store cards, to 20 percent or less of your total credit limit. Create a plan to pay down any high balances as quickly as possible.
Avoid critical mistakes - In football, making critical mistakes like turnovers can cost your team the win. The same is true for winning the credit game. Making critical mistakes like paying your bills late or missing payments all together can negatively impact your credit score for years. Put a system in place, whether by using technology like your bank's automatic bill payment options or by paying all of your bills as they come in the mail, to make sure you never miss a payment.
Have a plan - Getting to the Super Bowl and winning the big game doesn't happen accidentally. It happens with a game plan. The same is true for you winning at the credit game; you need a game plan. Plan how and what kind of debt you will use to prevent impulse credit buys. Planning is especially critical when you have a major purchase, like a home, in the works. You will need to make sure your credit score is in its best shape to get you approved for a mortgage. Remember, the higher your credit score the lower your interest rate will be, which saves you money.
Assemble a winning team - Winning a team sport like football requires assembling the best of the best players on your team. You also need to assemble the best team possible to win at the credit game. Having your partner and family on board as part of your team is critical to your success. Having a few good advisors and accountability partners can help you stay on track. And of course, you can consider me your coach!
You've gotta have the will to win! Part of winning goes well beyond all the mechanics and science of the game. You and your team must also have the will to win; an inner drive and determination that keeps you going even when the going gets tough. So press on to that goal line and I will be here cheering you on and coaching you toward the goal of building and keeping healthy credit.